Charles R. Hinckley interview with Tales of Cape Cod on May 1, 1978.
Born in 1892, Mr. Holmes describes his childhood experiences living in Marstons Mills. His father was a farmer who owned woodlands and cranberry bogs and who also made money loaning money. Mr. Hinckley gives a lengthy description of growing cranberries on Cape Cod. Pickers in 1910 would make 15 cents a bushel and a man could pick about 15 bushels a day. He also describes his father’s practice of loaning money for purchasing homes. He describes his life as a child working on the farm. Mr. Hinckley also describes what school was a one room school with 8 grades and 20 students. He recalls the teacher being paid $6.00 a week. At 17 he went to Middleboro to work in a department store. He was paid $6.00 a week in 1909. After four years he received a raise to $6.50 a week. In 1919 he purchased a home and grocery store in Osterville. He remembers seeing his first car, a Stanley Steamer owned by a salesman who would heat up frankfurters on the boiler of the car. He provides some price comparisons on food items purchased in 1919 and 1978. In 1919 a worker in his store would make around $12 a week. He describes what life was like running a retail store in Osterville.
The Tales of Cape Cod Oral History Collection is located at the William Brewster Nickerson Archives in the Wilkens Library at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable, Massachusetts.
For more information about the Collection, please contact the Nickerson Archives at http://www.nickersonarchives.org/.